The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture offers a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with concentrations in one of three areas: advertising, journalism or public relations. The concentration in advertising prepares students for careers at advertising agencies, marketing departments of corporations or service organizations and media companies.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communication professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  • Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communication professions in which they work.
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communication professions in which they work.
  • Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  • Think critically, creatively and independently.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  • Understand and apply the principles and laws appropriate to the communication professions in which they work, including copyright and trademark law.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically.
  • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.

Special requirements

The overview section of the Robertson School of Media and Culture explains the requirements for students to be admitted to, and remain in, the foundation program or a specific concentration in the school.

Students must earn at least 72 credits in courses outside mass communications. In addition, students must earn a total of 45 credits in classes at the 300-level and above, including upper-level mass communications course work. To graduate from the mass communications program, students must have a cumulative and major GPA of 2.5 and must earn a minimum grade of C in their senior-level capstone courses (MASC   459 and MASC   481). The mass communications curriculum includes the foundation and specific concentrations.

Foundation course work for advertising students

MASC   101; MASC   201; MASC   204 with a minimum grade of C; and completion of UNIV   111, UNIV   112, ECON   203 and the College of Humanities and Sciences’ human, social and political behavior; math and statistics (must choose STAT   208 or STAT   210); science and technology; and diverse and global communities requirements. Completion of both ECON   210 and ECON   211 may substitute for ECON   203.

To enroll in MASC   203 or MASC   204, students must receive departmental permission.

To enroll in a mass communications course, majors must have earned a minimum grade of C in all courses prerequisite for that course.

Degree requirements for Mass Communications, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in advertising/strategic

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS   202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S General Education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Collateral requirements

ARTH   104Survey of Art II (fulfills experiential fine arts requirement)3
ECON   203Introduction to Economics (completion of both ECON   210 and ECON   211 satisfies this requirement)3
HIST   103
HIST   104
Survey of American History
and Survey of American History
6
MKTG   301Marketing Principles (ACCT   202, ACCT   203 or ACCT   204 will also satisfy this requirement)3
STAT   208Statistical Thinking (fulfills University Core quantitative literacy)3
or STAT   210 Basic Practice of Statistics
POLI or URSP course (300-level or above)3
Literature course (300-level or above) except ENGL   386 / TEDU   386 or ENGL   3873
Total Hours24

Major requirements

MASC   101Mass Communications3
MASC   201Curiousness3
MASC   204Story3
or MASC   203 Journalism Writing
MASC   380History of Advertising3
MASC   398Awareness3
MASC   399Empathy3
MASC   409Truth and Honor3
or MASC   408 Communications Ethics and Law
MASC   459Judgment3
MASC   481Completeness3
MASC   493Fieldwork/Internship3
MASC electives9
Total Hours39

Open electives

Select 11-25 open elective credits11-25

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
MASC   101 Mass Communications 3
MATH   131
Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics
or Algebra with Applications
3
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Approved human, social and political behavior 3-4
Approved literature and civilization (ENGL 215 Textual Analysis recommended) 3
 Term Hours: 15-16
Spring semester
HUMS   202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
MASC   201 Curiousness 3
STAT   208 Statistical Thinking 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved science and technology 3-4
 Term Hours: 13-14
Sophomore year
Fall semester
ARTH   104 Survey of Art II 3
ECON   203 Introduction to Economics (or ECON 210 or 211 if other of these two has been completed) 3
HIST   103 Survey of American History 3
MASC   204 Story 3
Foreign language (101-level) 4
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
HIST   104 Survey of American History 3
MASC   380 History of Advertising 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved diverse and global communities 3
Foreign language (102-level) 4
 Term Hours: 16
Junior year
Fall semester
MASC   398 Awareness 3
MASC   399 Empathy 3
Approved General Education elective 3-4
Literature course (300-level or above) except ENGL/TEDU 386 Children’s Literature I or ENGL 387 Literature for Adolescents 3
Open elective 3
 Term Hours: 15-16
Spring semester
ACCT   202
Accounting for Non-business Majors
or Marketing Principles
3
MASC electives (300-400 level) 6
POLI or URSP course (300-level or above) 3
Approved General Education elective 3-4
 Term Hours: 15-16
Senior year
Fall semester
MASC   409
Truth and Honor
or Communications Ethics and Law
3
MASC   459 Judgment 3
Open elective (300-400 level) 3
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
MASC   481 Completeness 3
MASC   493 Fieldwork/Internship 3
MASC elective (300-400 level) 3
Open elective 3
Open elective (300-400 level) 3
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 120-124

MASC   101. Mass Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Open only to mass communications majors or media studies minors, or by permission of School of Mass Communications. A comprehensive overview of mass media which examines its history and evolution. Emphasis is given to the ways in which communications technologies have shaped and are shaped by society. Considers how digital and earlier technologies have led to increasing integration of world cultures and economies. Includes discussion of mass media law and ethics, including the origins and evolution of a free press and the legal framework of contemporary mass media practice.

MASC   151. Global Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores how communication media and globalization drive each other and how they both impact the nation-state as well as international institutions. Examines how technology, the global economy and international media corporations influence culture, politics, business, law and other institutions in countries around the world. Explores the relationship between media systems and governments and how both are affected by technology and globalization. Crosslisted as: INTL   151.

MASC   201. Curiousness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Study and practice of the first attribute for success in creativity: curiousness. Students engage in practical applications, readings, lectures, demonstrations and in-class exercises that build curiosity and help students identify and trust their natural curious nature. Provides advertising and non-advertising majors with rigorous and provocative challenges to stimulate further interest in creating for media.

MASC   203. Journalism Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   101 minimum grade of C, UNIV   112 or both ENGL   295 and HONR   200 with minimum grade(s) of C, and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Study and practice in fact gathering and development of basic writing skills for print, broadcast and online journalism. Focuses on journalistic storytelling, grammar, Associated Press style and knowledge of current affairs.

MASC   204. Story. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   101 minimum grade of C and 201 minimum grade of C, UNIV   112 or both ENGL   295 and HONR   200 with minimum grade(s) of C, and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Focuses on writing for advertising and consumer communications (the best advertising tells stories to which consumers can relate). Students study the parts of a story, what makes a story interesting and how to find those things. Practice includes looking for, finding and constructing a story. A survey of many different ways storytelling is involved in making advertising. Practice in applying storytelling skills to several advertising and communication projects.

MASC   210. Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduction to public relations principles and practices, including analysis of tools, media, ethical responsibilities and emerging technologies. Special attention to the theory and research literature on rational and ethical persuasion.

MASC   290. Ethical Problems in Mass Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   101 minimum grade of C. Examination and analysis of contemporary issues and problems in conventional and new media. The philosophical foundation and principles of ethical decision-making are explored. Critical and unresolved issues are discussed within the legal and ethical framework of modern mass media practice. Students are required to design and justify resolutions to the issues and present defenses for the resolution proposals.

MASC   291. Topics in Communications. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated once with different content. A study of a specialized topic in mass communications. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered.

MASC   300. Technical Prowess. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   204 minimum grade of C. For advertising students only. Examines the functions of visual and graphic communication in the print and electronic media. Focuses on mastery of graphics software and basic design principles used in advertising. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs. (May not be taken if student has taken MASC   301 or 334.).

MASC   301. Graphics for Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 with a minimum grade of C. For journalism students only. Examines the functions of visual and graphic communication in the print and electronic media. Focuses on creative typographic and layout design principles and integrates practice in editing, graphic creation, digital-image manipulation and professional publishing. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs used in newspaper and magazine journalism. (May not be taken if student has taken MASC   300 or 334.).

MASC   303. Reporting for Print and Web. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   203 minimum grade of C and UNIV   200 minimum grade of C or HONR   200 minimum grade of C. Detailed study in reporting and writing news stories for print publications and websites. Focus on interviewing, writing news and features and preparing for entry-level reporting assignments. Students also will learn online presentation skills, including photos, audio, video and interactive elements.

MASC   305. Copy Editing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   301 minimum grade of C. Instruction and practice in basic newspaper and online editing with a focus on practical experience in editing local and news service copy for publication. Includes emphasis on headline writing, development of news judgment, accuracy and fairness, and potential legal problems for copy editors. Attention also will be paid to layout and design for newspapers and online.

MASC   333. Public Relations Writing and Media Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   203 and 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. An intensive writing course focusing on researching and writing materials in support of the public relations function. Practice in preparing various collateral including news releases and advisories, story pitches, special events background materials, media kits, employee newsletters, community relations materials and formal public speaking scripts. Explains the role and function of the news media and the unwritten rules that govern interaction with the news media. Students will learn how to construct an effective media relations strategy, how to be interviewed with skill and assurance and how to evaluate media relations within the organization’s public relations plan.

MASC   334. Public Relations Graphics and Production I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students or media studies minors only. Study of the functions of visual and graphic communication for public relations practice. Focuses on basic design principles and skills in editing, graphic creation, digital-image manipulation, Web and interactive content. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs. (May not be taken if student has completed MASC   300 or 301.).

MASC   335. Public Relations Graphics and Production II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   334 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Continues development of visual and graphic communication skills acquired in MASC   334. Introduces development of additional multimedia skills to include photography, electronic newsletters and video storytelling. (May not be taken if student has completed MASC   300 or 301.).

MASC   336. Social Media in Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Covers development, trends and application of social media. Focuses on social media as a strategic tool for public relations professionals. Identifies and analyzes functionality and best practices, including audience engagement, benchmarking and appropriate metrics for social media monitoring, measurement and evaluation.

MASC   337. Public Relations Management and Case Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. For public relations students only. Through intensive review, study and discussion of public relations case studies, students will use and further develop their critical-thinking abilities to analyze how the public relations function was managed to serve organizational goals. Students will critique existing case studies as well as develop their own individual case studies.

MASC   338. Professionalism in Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Study of public relations careers, including in-depth examination of types of practice and industry choices for professionals. Includes development of job-seeking skills such as networking, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, as well as professional skills such as impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, presentation development and effective meeting management. Focus on ethical practice and understanding of effective long-term professional development activities such as the Accredited in Public Relations and Accredited Business Communicator credentials.

MASC   341. Feature and Article Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   303 minimum grade of C or 363 minimum grade of C. Practice in preparing articles and features for newspapers and magazines. Emphasis is on creative journalistic writing and development of writing skills.

MASC   359. International Media Coverage: The Middle East. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   101 with a minimum grade of C or 151 with a minimum grade of C. This interdisciplinary course explores the media's role in covering cultural, political, religious and other issues in the Middle East. Students will examine the role and impact of the media in both the United States and Middle East in shaping global and regional public opinion. Using webcam and online technology, VCU students will discuss cross-cultural perspectives with students from the other U.S. universities and universities in the Middle East. Crosslisted as: WRLD   359.

MASC   361. History and Development of Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. An examination of the regulatory, technical, economic and creative foundations of print, broadcast and Web-based journalism. Historical, contemporary and ethical issues are also addressed.

MASC   363. Introduction to Broadcast Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 with a minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC   367. Students will concentrate on developing news writing and reporting skills for television and radio. Course work will include weekly writing assignments and the production of broadcast-quality radio and television stories. Knowledge of current events is essential.

MASC   367. Audio and Video Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 with a minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC   363. Open to mass communications majors only. Focuses on the purpose, function and execution of basic techniques of audio and video field and studio production operations, especially as they relate to news. Emphasizes the production of broadcast-quality media content. Fieldwork production, remote production and live production, along with audio and video recording and editing, are covered.

MASC   380. History of Advertising. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. A foundation survey, from prehistoric to present day. What is advertising? How did it get to be that way and what might it become? Advertising's place in society through several eras, with emphasis on U.S. advertising history, but attention also paid to the role of advertising in other countries. An overview of the creation of the ad agency, a summary of its parts, an explanation of its workings and its place in society. Understanding advertising as practiced from various viewpoints including the agency, public, clients and social and political groups.

MASC   381. Great Advertising. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   380 minimum grade of C. Explores the practitioner-oriented approach to the creation, preparation and evaluation of advertising, branding and communications. Views great advertising from the perspective of integrated marketing communication and utilizes case studies of advertising and branding campaigns for some of the world's best-known brands.

MASC   382. Acumen. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   380 minimum grade of C. Focuses on excelling in the business aspects of advertising, branding and communications. To understand an advertising client's business needs, one must understand how the client does business. Students will learn about advertising from within the context of marketing, business and commerce.

MASC   392. Perspicuousness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   204 with a minimum grade of C and UNIV   200 or HONR   200 with a minimum grade of C. Intensive practice in choosing the right word for the right occasion. Study of the different types of advertising copy used by both local and national advertisers. Focuses on creative thinking and inspired writing for advertising, branding and communications.

MASC   393. Creativity for Television. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   380 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Learn the process of developing professional-level television advertising with a concentration in creative thinking and solutions. Students create TV commercials with attention to scripts, storyboards, talent, visual composition, editing, music, sound effects and direction.

MASC   394. Imagination. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   300 with a minimum grade of C. Study of art direction: practice in visualizing and utilizing media space aesthetically. Students complete assignments each week, ranging from traditional advertising to alternative media venues. Results are presented in front of the class for critique by faculty and fellow students.

MASC   397. Ubiquity. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   204 minimum grade of C. Using media to help achieve the client's ad objective. An intensive problem-based course on using mass, personal and social media to engage the consumer, to help communicate the brand's message and to add impact to a communications campaign. Students will study media planning and buying of all types of media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor, online and nontraditional).

MASC   398. Awareness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   204 with a minimum grade of C. Understanding what advertisers can look for in their research and how they use research to connect with consumers. Through this intensive research practicum focused on account planning, students will learn to research consumers, competition and brands. Students will use quantitative (such as online surveys) and qualitative (such as focus groups, panel studies, one-on-one interviews) methods to research consumers and target audiences. Students will conduct competitive market research on brands.

MASC   399. Empathy. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   204 with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on managing client accounts, team management, group dynamics, negotiating and presentation skills. Students learn how to persuade through understanding of others, including how to make smarter decisions, spark innovation and solve problems more quickly, and how to create a culture of candor, trust, resilience and accountability in clients and in coworkers.

MASC   403. Advanced Reporting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   303 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Intensive study of the techniques of reporting meetings and news of public affairs. Attention will be paid to covering governmental agencies at all levels. Instruction in newspaper editing included. Quality of writing will be a paramount and continual consideration. Emphasis on fast-paced deadlines. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC   404, MASC   475 or MASC   496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC   404. Specialized Project Reporting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   303 with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Provides news beat experience for students reporting on complex issues facing the public in the urban community. Emphasis also on editing, team reporting, in-depth research and interviewing techniques, and use of public records. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC   403, MASC   475 or MASC   496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC   408. Communications Ethics and Law. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. Study of ethical and legal issues affecting the practice of journalism and public relations. Examination and analysis of contemporary issues and problems in conventional and new media. The philosophical foundation and principles of ethical decision-making are explored. Critical and unresolved issues are discussed within the legal and ethical framework of modern mass media practice.

MASC   409. Truth and Honor. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   204 minimum grade of C and 380 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. A survey of laws pertaining to the creation of advertising, such as trademark and copyright, and to the effects of advertising in the culture. A discussion of ethical questions pertaining to persuasion, communication and the effects of advertising in the culture.

MASC   415. Advanced Video Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   363 and 367, both with minimum grades of C. Corequisite: MASC   460. Students learn advanced field shooting and editing techniques as well as the inner workings of the television studio, including studio camera operation, advanced audio and video editing, visual storytelling, and advanced camera techniques.

MASC   423. Tourism and Hospitality Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Examines the role and practice of public relations in the tourism and hospitality industries. Students will learn how to use public relations strategies and tactics to stimulate interest among travelers in destinations and specific activities. Emphasis on media relations, special events, sponsorships/partnerships and social media.

MASC   424. Sports and Entertainment Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Examines the role and practice of public relations in the sports and entertainment industries. Students will learn the role of public relations in managing relationships with the news media, fans and fan groups, and other key audiences. Focus on media relations, social media, sponsorships/partnerships, promotions and community relations.

MASC   425. Public Relations Research. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 323 with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. An introduction to the role of research in public relations, with primary emphasis on content analysis, focus group, survey and communication audit methods and the evaluation of quantitative research data.

MASC   433. Special Events. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. For Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Students learn the theory and organizational strategies of special events as a function of public relations. Topics include client consulting, objective setting, budgeting, sponsorships, vendor negotiations and follow-up procedures.

MASC   435. Crisis Communication. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Students learn techniques for dealing with sudden and unexpected situations that have a negative impact on organizations and their images to key constituencies. Through case studies and crisis simulation exercises, students develop strategic solutions for crisis situations. Students are provided with the insights, confidence and practical expertise needed to manage the consequences of a wide range of possible crises in ways that maintain, or even enhance, their employer's reputation.

MASC   438. Organizational Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   425 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Focuses on the tools to communicate with employees, volunteers and special organizational internal publics, and how those internal messages are used to achieve the goals and objectives of organizations. Students learn the theories of organizational communication and the techniques used to conduct an internal audit of the communication climate in an organization.

MASC   439. Public Relations Campaigns. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   333, 335, 336, 337 and 425, each with a minimum grade of C. For Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Application of public relations theory and methods in the preparation of a plan for a public relations campaign. Special attention to the planning process including issues analysis, and application of public relations and research methods.

MASC   450. Style. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   392 and 394, both with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. An advanced, intensive study of advertising style, forming one's own sense of style and the creative process. Emphasizing strategic and creative development of advertising campaigns. Students will conceptualize advertising campaigns, execute digitally produced, comprehensive advertisements and campaign materials, and assemble a final portfolio. Culminates in a formal portfolio review with professionals from the advertising industry.

MASC   451. Invention. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   450 with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. An advanced, intensive study of inventiveness in the creative process. Emphasis on strategic and creative development of advertising campaigns that builds on what students learned about advertising style in MASC   450. Prepares students for post-graduate work or study. Students will conceptualize and produce advertising campaigns and assemble a final portfolio. Culminates in a formal portfolio review with professionals from the advertising industry.

MASC   459. Judgment. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   398 and 399 and 6 additional credits of MASC electives, all with minimum grades of C). For mass communications majors only. Application and demonstration of inspiration, innovation, advertising knowledge and skills. Designed to help students in the strategic concentration compile a strong, comprehensive body of work used in brand communications. Students will develop competence in evaluating communication concepts, market situations and client and agency concerns.

MASC   460. Advanced Television Newsgathering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   363 and 367, both with minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC   415. Television news practicum. Using the university and the city of Richmond as their classroom, students will report, write and produce television and multimedia news stories. Electronic newsgathering and editing equipment will be utilized to create professional-caliber projects.

MASC   461. The Documentary. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   303, 415 and 460, each with minimum grade of C. An examination of documentary concepts through analysis of radio, television and film documentaries. The course will center on the development, writing and production of a documentary in the medium (audio or video) of the student's choice.

MASC   462. Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   363 minimum grade of C and 367 minimum grade of C. Examination of theoretical, technical and practical use of photography in communications and reporting, along with theories and legal guidelines of photojournalism. Training in news photography (both still and video) and its application in converged media. Students must have their own manually operable 35 mm film or digital (minimum 3.2 megapixels) single lens reflex cameras with at least a 50 mm lens or a zoom lens capable of 50 mm shooting. Students will use departmental video cameras.

MASC   463. Advanced Radio Newsgathering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   363 minimum grade of C and 367 minimum grade of C. Radio practicum. Using the university and city of Richmond as their classroom, students will report, write and produce radio news stories. Studio and remote equipment will be utilized to create professional-caliber projects.

MASC   465. Newscasting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 3 credits. May be repeated once for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   303, 415 and 460, each with minimum grade of C. Concentrates on developing on-air skills in radio and television studio and field situations. Emphasizes journalistic principles in delivery of news, public affairs, editorial and interviews. Stresses grammar, diction and broadcast writing.

MASC   466. Television Studio Production. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 2 laboratory hours. 1 credit. May be repeated for up to 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204 with minimum grade of C. Instruction and practice in basic television or studio production. Supports the production of the television broadcast journalism programming created by students within the broadcast journalism concentration.

MASC   467. Nonprofit Project Development. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   210 with a minimum grade of C or MASC   380 with a minimum grade of C. Students will be selected to work with area nonprofit clients to create and produce a wide variety of advertising and promotional materials. Students will develop strategy, write creative briefs, recruit teams to work with them during CreateAthon onCampus (a 24-hour creative event held during Spring Break), present work to clients and follow any deliverables through production. Strong emphasis on leadership and a commitment to working with nonprofits.

MASC   474. Diversity in the Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   101 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to mass communications majors and media studies minors only. Examines historical and contemporary issues associated with the presence and portrayal of selected groups in/by the media in the United States. Examines groups based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and other characteristics. Issues related to diversity and diversity awareness in advertising, journalism and public relations are also explored.

MASC   475. Capital News Service. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   303 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Advanced journalism students cover state government and politics, including the Virginia General Assembly, the governor, regulatory agencies and elections. Students produce content for publication by newspapers and other news outlets and for social media. Strong emphasis on fast-paced deadlines. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC   403, MASC   404 or MASC   496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC   480. Touch. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   398 minimum grade of C and 399 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Designing advertising strategies that touch the target audience and engage them in the brand. Students learn to understand the research, the consumer, the competition and the client's brand so that they can develop a strong communication strategy. This is an advanced study of the strategic side of advertising.

MASC   481. Completeness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: creative advertising concentration: MASC   392 and 394, both with minimum grade of C; strategic advertising concentration: MASC   398 and 399, both with minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Intensive study in the planning and preparation of advertising campaigns. Students develop complete advertising plans including research, media and creative strategies, sales promotion plans and merchandising plans.

MASC   485. Web Site Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   300, 301 or 334 with a minimum grade of C. Students will receive an introduction to the processes, principles and tools of website design, development and production. The course will focus on the development of strong interactive interfaces, animation, graphic images, text, and functional site design and organization. In this hands-on, computer-based course, students will design and develop a comprehensive site and launch it to the Internet. Increasing the students' knowledge of design principles and technical skills with Web development tools will be emphasized.

MASC   488. Strategic Communication of Health and Medical Issues. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   425 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Students will discuss the role of media and strategic communication in publics’ information-seeking behaviors and formation of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about health and medical issues. Closes the gap of health information disparity and enhances the communication practice of health-related organizations. Topics examined include thorough case analyses, primary and secondary research and strategic health communication design projects. The principles of strategic communication are applied to areas such as health care public relations, health audience segmentation and messaging tailored for different media forms.

MASC   491. Topics in Communications. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1, 2 or 3 credits per semester. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204, either with a minimum grade of C. An intensive study of a specialized field of mass communications.

MASC   492. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses. Prerequisite: MASC   203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. The course is designed for students who wish to study subject matter not offered elsewhere in the mass communications' curriculum.

MASC   493. Fieldwork/Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1, 2 or 3 credits per semester. May be repeated with different topics; maximum total of 6 credits may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisites: MASC   203 or 204, either with a minimum grade of C, and permission of internship coordinator. Selected students will receive on-the-job training under the supervision of an instructor and the employer. Internships are available in newspapers, magazines, public relations, advertising, radio and television.

MASC   496. Mobile and Social Media Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC   303, 363 and 367, each with minimum grade of C. Capstone course for print-online journalism students. Integrates journalism skills and concepts from previous writing and reporting classes and adapts them to mobile and social media. Students work in a newsroom environment to utilize mobile devices and social media platforms to identify compelling story ideas, effectively break news and report on important news events and issues while applying theories and concepts of online social networking to journalism. Students develop their own professional social media portfolios and build online communities. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC   403, MASC   404 or MASC   475 without permission from the instructor.